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Prayer and Discernment

woman gazing at Mount Nebo

Desert discernment

🕔12. Jul 2016

A trip to Jordan’s biblical wilderness provides the backdrop for a reflection on how you can find your way by wandering.

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Una de las bendiciones de mi noviciado fue aprender a dejarme amar por Dios en primer lugar.

What I learned as a novice

🕔03. Aug 2016

I realized that while I was trying to earn drops of acceptance by serving others, in the silence of my heart I found that God was ready to offer me an entire sea of acceptance. 

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Congregation of St. Joseph associate Kileen Stone offers the Communion cup to Sister Rose Margaret, C.S.J.

Other vocations that might be right for you

🕔13. Jul 2016

There are many forms of Christian commitment and Catholic life, including opportunities—whether single or married—to be involved in particular spiritualities or ministries.

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Sister Nathalie Becquart, Xav. at the helm.

Navigating the right course

🕔13. Jul 2016

The sea, with its changing conditions of turbulence and calm, is a parable of life that can teach us how to steer a path to joy.

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young man praying in a field

Do-it-yourself discernment retreat

🕔14. Jul 2015

Take five minutes out of your busy day for a week to deepen your prayer life and develop greater understanding of vocation.

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Three women running a race

The paths of prayer

🕔14. Jul 2015

Sister Christa Parra, I.B.V.M. discovered her vocation during prayer. Now prayer keeps her grounded in her life as a sister.

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Pope Francis in a crowd

Year of Consecrated Life | FOR BULLETIN EDITORS & DISCERNERS: Reflections on consecrated life

🕔14. Nov 2014

Insightful quotes and reflections on consecrated life for use in parish bulletins or on the parish website for every week of the Year of Consecrated Life and beyond.



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man walking on beach with dog

Discern the real you

🕔14. Jul 2015

God rarely makes booming announcements about what you should do with your life. Quite the opposite, it takes a lot of quiet to hear God inside you.

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Petionary Prayers for Year of Consecrated Life

FOR LITURGISTS & PRAYER MINISTERS | petitionary prayers | song | vocation prayers

🕔30. Oct 2014

Please include a petitionary prayer in honor of the Year of Consecrated Life at every liturgy, and sing our specially commissioned song, Wake the World With Dawning Joy.

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The three keys to successful vocation decisions

🕔22. Jun 2008

To discern your vocation means to sort through the movements of your heart and unfold the truth of who you most deeply are.

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Let God’s Word open the door to your heart

🕔22. Jun 2008

Praying with scripture can help you hear the voice of the Spirit stirring inside your heart and inviting you to break open the Bible and come to know God more personally.

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Pope Francis Prayer for Vocations

PRAYER CARD: Pope Francis Prayer for Vocations

🕔31. Oct 2014

Please make use of this prayer for vocations by Pope Francis in your homes, classrooms, youth ministry gatherings, and parish liturgies.

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What does it mean to say that God is calling me?

🕔22. Jun 2008

Jesuit Ignatian tradition sees God as actively and personally involved in each of our lives. . . . God is engaged in a lifelong dialog with us. Our role in the dialog is to pay attention, listen, and try to respond.

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Prayer sustains my vocation

🕔22. Jun 2008

Each day as I grow in my awareness of the community in which I live, I see health problems, relationship problems, and addictions. These problems, by the grace of God, I bring to the eucharistic table.

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Holiness is for everybody

🕔11. Jul 2009

If God is content that an individual is trying his or her best (for the moment) to fulfill God’s hopes, that person qualifies as a saint.

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Nine ways to open up God's will for you

🕔22. Jun 2008

During my 35 years as a vocation counselor, I've discovered nine steps to help people find what they want--and what God wants for them.

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It all begins with a call

🕔22. Jun 2008

From Abraham to Peter, Andrew, James, and John to the disciples on the road to Emmaus and extending to you, scripture reveals that nothing is so life-changing as the call we hear that originates in God.

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Find your spirituality type

🕔22. Jun 2008

Take a short quiz to find out your spirituality type.

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Be a saint in your own way

🕔18. Jul 2011

Everyone is a unique creation of God, and the way to sanctity is to be your unique self.

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Four steps to hearing your call

🕔22. Jun 2008

Throughout the ages, people have struggled to understand God’s call to them. Four basic steps of discernment—becoming aware, gathering information, making a decision, and looking for confirmation of your choice—can help.

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My four months at a house of discernment

🕔22. Jun 2008

For four months during 2001 I lived at Emmaus House--a Toledo, Ohio "house of discernment" run by the Sisters of Notre Dame.

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How to know where God is leading you

🕔22. Jun 2008

In exploring a call to religious life, certain attitudes are crucial for success: openness, trust, expectation, and inner freedom.

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Rubens praying hands

Five steps to better prayer

🕔22. Jun 2008

Prayer helps us to know and love God more. Through prayer we become more and more the kind of person we really want to be: a person of love, integrity, compassion, forgiveness, and joy.

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Abbot Christopher V12

How to nurture inner silence

🕔11. Dec 2014

A Benedictine monk whose abbey hosted members of the public in a British reality television program talks about the place of silence in everyday life.

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Random Nun Clip: Dragging people to prayer—really?

🕔24. Nov 2014

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Random Nun Clip: As a busy mom, I have difficulty making time for prayer. What can I do?

🕔24. Nov 2014

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Random Nun Clip: What are some unexpected things you've learned about prayer?

🕔24. Nov 2014

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Random Nun Clip: How is prayer a way for Carmelite nuns to reach out to the needs of the world?

🕔24. Nov 2014

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The essential facts about secular institutes

🕔17. Jul 2012

Members of secular institutes work in the heart of the world while dedicating themselves to God and taking vows of chastity, poverty, and obedience.

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Art: A way into prayer

🕔15. Jul 2014

Art is a pathway to the divine.

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What does God want from me?

🕔30. Jul 2014

Considering what God wants us to do with our lives might seem like compounding the dilemma, but instead, I found, it helps to clarify them.

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Why consider a church vocation in times like these?

🕔22. Jun 2008

In the midst of great difficulties, the church more than ever needs a new generation of priests, sisters, and brothers.

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How to talk to your family about your vocation

🕔18. Jul 2014

Do your parents have doubts about your vocation? Here are some ways to listen and talk to them about their concerns.

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How to wait for clarity about your vocation

🕔14. Jul 2014

Waiting is inevitable in the human condition. It can also be an important part of discernment.

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What is your spiritual path?

🕔14. Jul 2014

Take our Spirituality Quiz and discover the four basic spiritual pathways and see how they apply to your own spiritual development—and vocation discernment.

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Celibacy quiz: Can you live a celibate life?

🕔22. Jun 2008

Take this quiz to test your ability to live a life of celibacy.

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5 steps to finding your vocation

🕔14. Jul 2014

It’s as simple as ask, trust, stop, listen, and respond.

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Our service is our prayer

🕔12. Jul 2013

For members of religious communities called to active service in the world, their prayer informs their ministry and their ministry informs their prayer.

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How to narrow your vocation options

🕔12. Jul 2013

The variety of religious communities can be bewildering when you first begin to explore religious life, but with some good tools you can find the right vocation for you.

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Questions people may ask about your vocation . . .

🕔08. Jul 2013

. . . and some answers you can give them.

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5 signs religious life might be right for you

🕔08. Jul 2013

Look for these signposts on the journey as you explore the possibility of religious life.

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When making life choices, turn to the Eucharist

🕔30. Jul 2012

With Bible in hand situate yourself in the presence of the Eucharist, begin with a short prayer or scripture passage, and then listen. When good thoughts come to me, I trust that they are from God.

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Ten things to know about discerning a vocation

🕔19. Jul 2011

Out of a long and sometimes challenging journey to religious life come these ten suggestions for others still in discernment.

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How to stay open to God’s call

🕔10. Jul 2012

Discerning a vocation is about trusting in what God, who knows you best, wants to give you through your life.

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What happens in spiritual direction?

🕔30. Jul 2012

What is spiritual direction, how do you do it, and what is supposed to come of it? A spiritual director sheds some light on those questions.

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Pray always

🕔18. Jul 2012

We try to crank up the thoughts and feelings we think we should be having when we pray. But prayer is “lifting mind and heart to God,” and that means lifting up, at any given moment, exactly what’s there.

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Three habits to make you a better disciple

🕔16. Jul 2012

Living with Jesus is a great adventure of love. When you admit Jesus into your heart, nothing is predictable, but everything becomes possible

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What are you afraid of?

🕔16. Jul 2012

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My week with the Sisters of St. Joseph of Rochester

🕔10. Jul 2012

The SSJ Volunteer Corps offers young women and men the opportunity to work alongside the Sisters of St. Joseph of Rochester in their vital urban ministries.

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How do I know God's will for me?

🕔02. Sep 2008

Are you trying to figure out God’s will for your life? You need look no further than scripture, the church, and your own personal history.

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Come and see!

🕔10. Jul 2012

Vocation discernment retreats offer opportunities to experience the prayer life and work of a religious community and let you get a feel for this unique way of life.

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The orange couch behind the door, or: When good enough is enough

🕔10. Jul 2012

You don’t have to know everything about how your vocation to religious life is going to turn out to take the first steps toward it.

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Spiritual direction for dummies (and other smart people who don’t know where to start)

🕔13. Jun 2012

Spiritual direction is a relatively new practice for many Catholics, and many times people are mystified by it. Put simply, spiritual direction is an ongoing process of nurturing your spiritual life.

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My life in a college house of discernment

🕔13. Jun 2012

My advice to anyone considering a discernment house is: “Take advantage of it.” Be as much a part of the community as you possibly can. You won’t regret it.

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A user’s guide on the ways to pray

🕔27. Jul 2011

From formal to informal to spoken to silent, the Catholic faith offers a wealth of prayers and ways to pray.

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Finding the right fit

🕔21. Jul 2010

No two religious communities are alike. An insider gives tips on what to look for and the questions to ask when exploring religious communities.

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Point and click to pray

🕔22. Jun 2008

A guide to websites that bring prayer and spiritual development right to your computer.

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Dear Discerner: Notes on love and promises

🕔11. Jul 2009

For you who are considering religious life, trust in God and in your experience of falling in love with the good future that God holds before you.

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In God we trust

🕔11. Jul 2009

A veteran vocation director reflects on the process of finding the life choice that will allow you to be most at home with yourself.

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The brothers will be my prayer

🕔11. Jul 2009

Thirty-three Ecuadorian nuns and a monk of Mepkin Abbey taught Cistercian Brother Dismas Warner that finding a God he cannot see involves trusting the visible, all-too-human community.

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How to survive a "quarterlife crisis"

🕔08. Jul 2008

People don't necessarily settle into their lives in their 20s anymore. Sometimes it seems that life itself is filled with experimentation, change, and uncertainty.

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Pray all ways—three ways to begin

🕔08. Jul 2008

Prayer traditions observed in a small “monastery town” can lead to new prayer horizons and practices as well as a newly energized prayer attitude.

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